Historical Brotherhoods and Quantified Film Music

The March edition of DRS seminar featured two talks by PhD researchers from the University of Helsinki.

The first presenter, Justyna Pierzynska from Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Social Research, asked in her research why historical brotherhoods are such an effective narrative in East European politics. She uses digital materials to discover how such ‘common history’ is being produced and how it becomes popular social knowledge. Comparative analysis of four ‘historical brotherhoods’ – Polish-Georgian brotherhood, Serbian-Armenian brotherhood (Serbia), Serbian-South Ossetian brotherhood (Serbia), Serbian-South Ossetian brotherhood (Republika Srpska) – show an interesting pattern. Brotherhood ideas do not spread to become „common knowledge“ without the mediating elite element!

”Poles and Georgian cousins be – new national truth”
User-generated image, 2010

In the second half, MA Ira Österberg from Aleksanteri Institute who will be defending her PhD dissertation “What Is That Song? Aleksej Balabanov’s Brother and Rock as Film Music in Russian Cinema” on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018, presented her proposal for postdoctoral research project. The idea is to study musical strategies of Soviet cinema by operationalizing film’s use of music along various dimensions. The aim is to find out how much music is in a given film, what types of music are used, how are the music type and positioning of the music connected. Using digital (semi)automated methods, Ira plans to scale her study to uncover how these features change over time. The ultimate aim of this exciting project is the creation of the overall methodology for quantitative film music analysis!

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